Yesterday, I posted several of my favorite C.S. Lewis quotes. In one of them, Lewis offers advice to a friend struggling with sexual temptation. Here’s the quote:
“We must learn by experience to avoid either trains of thought or social situations which for us (not necessarily for everyone) lead to temptations. Like motoring—don’t wait till the last moment before you put on the brakes but put them on, gently and quietly, while the danger is still a good way off.” — C.S. Lewis, from a letter to a friend
As Lewis notes, it’s much easier to avoid a crash by noticing the approaching problem from a distance and taking time to steer clear of it… rather than waiting until the last minute and then slamming on the brakes in desperation. Of course, temptations sometimes arise suddenly and unexpectedly; and God can answer even last-minute pleas for help. But you can spare yourself much spiritual anguish if you acknowledge your own vulnerabilities and watch carefully for signs of approaching trouble before you’re face-to-face with it.
This week’s Bible Life Coaching devotional deals with the topic of temptation as well. If you haven’t seen it, here’s Sheri Rose Shepherd on the topic of temptation:
In her written devotional accompanying the video, Sheri offers this challenge to anyone who finds themself falling repeatedly into temptation:
Unfortunately, many times our curiosity causes us to fall away from our conviction and we take the dare of the devil: just as Eve did in the garden when Satan, the serpent, dared her to doubt God and take a bite of the forbidden fruit. No matter how beautiful that apple was or how pleasing it was to the eye, it certainly wasn’t worth the price paid for the temporary pleasure. It’s time for us to dare to live the life above and beyond what this world offers!
I dare you to go on a “Temptation Fast.”
This means fasting off anything, any thoughts, or anyone for seven days that tempts you or weakens your will to follow God or causes you to fall away from the life God longs for you to live.
…As you lay down your curiosity and the comforts of this world, you will allow God’s word to renew your mind and God’s way of living to become a reality for you.
What are your personal weaknesses? Are you making choices, even subconscious ones, that give temptation a foothold in your life that it wouldn’t otherwise have? Do you make a determined effort to steer clear of temptation, or do you let it get too close and then struggle to escape it? Give the devotional above a read and consider how you might turn from temptation while it’s still far off on the horizon.